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Authors Al Ries and Jack Trout outline The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing that you must follow if you’re to be successful in marketing your company. They warn the reader:
If you violate the immutable laws, you run the risk of failure.
With that said, they clearly lay out some contrarian concepts that may be hard to swallow for existing old-school business. The authors concede:
If you apply the immutable laws, you run the risk of being bad-mouthed, ignored, or even ostracized.
While these two points may seem to contradict each other, if you’re successful then your track record will silence the naysayers. If you have a small company or are just starting a business you can take these 22 laws and use them to your advantage against the big boys.
This book was written in the early 1990s so many of their examples are slightly dated. However, don’t let that stop you from reading this book because the principles discussed are timeless and applicable today more than ever.
Some of my favorite Laws are:
#2 The Law of the Category
If you can’t be first in a category, then set up a new category you can be first in.
You may not be first to market with your product but you can create a niche that will still be very profitable.
#7 The Law of the Ladder
The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder.
Evaluate where you company stands in the customer’s mind. Do they view you as the leader in the industry? Or a few steps behind at number two or three. You can’t claim to be the #1 company if you aren’t. Avis has been very successful at playing up it’s #2 status with their marketing campaign “we try harder.”
#9 The Law of Opposites
If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader.
To successfully compete against the industry leader you need to take an opposite stand. This “opposite” must be a real opposite and not something you just make up. You can’t claim your product is fast because that implies your competition is slow. Are they really? Pepsi took the opposite stand against the “classic” (read: older) Coca-Cola by saying that Pepsi is “the choice of a new generation.”
#13 The Law of Sacrifice
You have to give something up in order to get something.
You can’t be all things to all people. Focus in on your niche and you’ll have to give up some potential customers. However, sacrificing those “general” prospects will enable you to become the go-to company in your niche.
#18 The Law of Success
Success leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure.
The bigger and more successful your company the more degrees of separation top management will have from the common worker and the customers. Never lose sight of the customer even when you’re wildly successful. When you no longer have a finger on the pulse of the customer, your company will start to decline.
Apply the Laws
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing was a very quick read and will give you lots of food for thought. I recommend you read the book and pick a few Laws that you’re violating. Work on correcting those and you’ll be on your way to marketing success.
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